Functional Language

On a daily basis I feel good if Brian answers five of my questions correctly.  That’s with a “yes” or a “no” or repeating one of the choices I gave him (not just the last thing I say).

We still get a whole lot of “yes”s for things we know he doesn’t really want to answer in the affirmative.  For example, “Do you want brussel sprouts for dinner?”.

However, he has hundreds and hundreds of words up there.

If he’s in the right mood he can label everything, EVERYTHING, you ask of him.

He can differentiate a macaw from other birds and a tree frog from all the other varieties.

He can come in after making a mud pit in our driveway, catch a glimpse of his dirty reflection, and exclaim “This is not any good”.

He can struggle with pulling up shorts that are way too small for him and then sing a song after he succeeds.

But we still can’t get him to converse with people.

He can’t tell us what’s wrong.

He can’t tell me about his day.

He usually can’t tell me what he wants unless he can actually see what it is he wants, the visual connection seems to help his apraxic autistic brain.

I want all of those words he has stored up there to come out in streams.  I want them to be used functionally.  I want him to not have to struggle so much to pull those words out of the complexities of his brain.

He will grab my cheeks and look in my eyes to convey what he’s feeling, but I still long to hear those words.

However, those little bursts of song, those little scripted lines that he uses in the perfect context…they give me hope.

At one point I was told the language  that Brian had at five years old would be indicative of his language ability for life.  Obviously that was a lie.  One of the many stupid things I’ve heard from a range of professionals.  Brian continues to grow all the time and my hope will never falter that there will be MORE for him.  More language, More happiness, More health, More connection, More hope.

Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.